First Community Mortgage, Inc.
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Industry: Residential Mortgage Lending
Dan Smith strives to be the type of leader who brings out the best in others — the kind who understands “when to challenge versus support, when to direct versus ask for deeper thought, and when to share versus when to listen,” he said.
As president of Murfreesboro, Tennessee-based First Community Mortgage Inc., Smith oversees nearly 500 team members who work from the company’s 50-plus locations across the U.S.
As one of the top 100 mortgage companies in America, First Community Mortgage works to help people achieve the dream of homeownership.
“When people have a home, it gives them a foundation from which to grow, to do bigger things and, in turn, build better communities. And who wouldn’t want to support that?” Smith said.
Smith joined First Community Mortgage as president in 2020 after more than a decade working in the mortgage industry.
“You might call Dan Smith’s leadership style boldly quiet,” said his team. “He is a strong leader who listens a lot and who always brings others up and along with him, when he could rightly just take credit on his own.”
Over the next five years, Smith hopes to grow and differentiate First Community Mortgage to become a $10 billion business that ranks among the top 50 mortgage companies nationally. He intends to achieve sustainable growth while maintaining the company’s positive culture, he said, by “remaining inclusive, creative, agile and willing to take risks.”
“We have made strong strides, and our results reflect that, but there is more to do,” Smith said. “The work is never over; we are in an everoptimizing experience. Our group across the board demonstrates creative and efficient ways to optimize what we do and how we do it.”
Under Smith’s leadership, First Community Mortgage has been named a Top Workplace in the USA by Energage (2022), a Top Workplace in Tennessee (2021), a Silver Lender of the Year by the USDA (2021), and the Best Mortgage Company in Georgia by the Georgia Business Journal (2021).
Apart from his current C-suite role, Smith is nationally recognized as a mortgage industry leader and sales solutions expert. He has led and grown multiple companies with annual origination volumes ranging from $500 million to $6 billion. He is an active volunteer with the University of Miami, his alma mater, where he is chair of the president’s council. He also serves on the advisory board of Atlanta CareerSpring, an agency that provides career support to first-generation, low income students.
Dan reads poetry and literature because it is thought-provoking. He has used poetry and specific pieces of literature to communicate the importance of the thoughtful side of leadership and frame important issues in a way that provokes reflection and provides encouragement to others. Dan's favorite poem is called "For a New Beginning" by John O'Donohue, and he has used it to illustrate his thankfulness for the growth of the senior leadership team and appreciation of their courage to take actions that may make them uncomfortable but have open the opportunity to provide great impact and move the company towards its' goals. He appreciates how the FCM leadership team has found the courage to step out into the unknown and trust themselves, much like the story told in the poem. Dan notes that, a poem like that is a great way to communicate things that are challenging to leaders. His second favorite piece of writing is Teddy Roosevelt's "The Man in the Arena" speech. It is special to his family; in fact, "The Man in the Arena" was highlighted in a book Dan received from his dad. Dan subsequently passed it on to his son Adam.